South Carolina Dialectical Journal

Decent Essays
5 The Census Taker
Spartanburg Dist. South Carolina
Late Oct, 1829

That night at supper, Eli asked how things were at the cabin. Charity told him that when they arrived, her grandfather’s friend, Tokola, was there awaiting her grandfather‘s return, and that it broke her heart to have to tell him that her grandfather had died.
“How is Tokola? I haven’t seen him since the year before last. Over the years, he’s traveled through here with your grandfather, headed down to Fort Charlotte, more times than I can remember. ”
“He took it kind a hard, Mister Eli, but he seemed to be doing better by the time we left this morning.”
“That’s understandable,” said Eli. “He and your grandpa have been friends for fifty years or more- I reckon his being
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If she had known that Tokola was family, she would have hugged him even harder before she left him. He was her granduncle, a living, breathing relative! She went to sleep that night, trying to think back through the years to all the times Tokola had been at their cabin. It seemed that as she was growing up, he was always around.
In fitful sleep, she dreamt dreams of Indians, palmettos, cotton, tobacco, rice, indigo, and eagles flying through the skies calling to her, telling her to take this trail or that, and her reaching up, trying to catch them before they flew away. The next morning, she helped Nancy build a fire under the big, black iron pot out back of the cabin and then fill it with water so they could wash clothes. About an hour later, as they hung the first of the wash on the line, they heard a rider coming up the back trail; the trail that led down to Fort Charlotte.
“Well, I know it ain't Eli or Henry,” said Nancy, “they rode off to the North Country, this morning.”
Both watched the rider come into view, once he rounded a thicket of dogwoods. In tow, was a pack mule that looked to be loaded with
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Williams came out of the cabin. Mr. Williams was walking toward Charity, holding something out to her. It was a smaller book; he called it a journal. This one was blank. He told her to write things she felt were important in it and then smiled as though he was handing her the world. Although Charity did not know it right then, he was.
While she and Nancy finished the wash, they talked. Charity asked how Nancy knew how old she was; Nancy’s reply surprised her.
“Why, I remember when you was born,” said Nancy. “Henry was just a tiny thing himself, just learning to take a few steps, when Robert and Tokola came through on their way to Fort Charlotte. Your granddaddy was so proud to be a grandpa! He bragged about how pretty a little thing you was and that like your mother, you had inherited eyes, the color of his mothers.”
Charity wished her grandfather had talked more about his family; however, he wasn’t much of a talker about family and such. She wondered what and who he’d left behind when he came to America- Now, that her grandfather was dead, she would never
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